Friday, January 2, 2009


1. Well, evidently I lied the other day when I said, at the start of my entry about Kiln People and Vacuum Flowers, that I would update "later" on the magazine. I never got back to the blog or really anything else. 12/31 was pretty much a lost day as far as any kind of productivity, though Jeff and I did have fun visiting our friends Pat and Heather, who hosted a small party, that evening. We stayed up far too late, however.  None of us are particularly late-night kind of people normally, and I was about to drop over from a combination of exhaustion, indigestion and intoxication at about 11:30pm, but I was persuaded to stick it out for the onset of the New Year. Of course, all that remained of our gathering was Pat, Jeff and me and we let midnight pass without comment. We were heavily involved in watching ancient Black Sabbath videos on You Tube. Next, I had to arise at 5:45am  on 1/1 to get ready for work.  I did not feel real great, as you can imagine. I was in such a decroded state by 5:45pm when I returned home from work, that I wasn't about to get any writing or blogging or zine editing going on. Thankfully, Jeff had prepared our traditional New Year's Day "breakfast" featuring his famous home fries with jalapenos and roasted garlic, scrambled eggs with sour cream and cheese and tomatoes and garlic in them, bacon, sausage and toast. We ate all of that, drank the remaining beer from the night before, and were both asleep on the couches by 8:30pm.  My copy of Schismatrix fell on my face as I dozed.

2. Issue #1 of the magazine is all but done as far as its editing and formatting go. I am quite pleased with this because it's not due for six weeks, and I need to some more time to sew up all the details with its print edition.  The electronically-issued PDF will be ready to go almost anytime, and I am tempted to release it early because I am becoming impatient with how slowly word is getting out. I think if people have something to actually look at, then it should take off. It contains nine short stories, an essay about James Blish (by me), and a few editorial bits and pieces.  It also runs about sixteen pages shorter than I had estimated. It appears that it will be 56 pages instead of the 72 that I had estimated during my first rough mock-up of the copy.  This is good, because it might make it possible for me to charge somewhat less for the print-on-demand paper edition. It's also very text-dense, however.  There's not a lot of pictures or other graphics in it.  This is by design--the things about the words, after all--but if I end up somehow getting more "graphicky" later on, then it might make me need to increase page count as well. 

3. My poor novel in progress (still untitled and known only as Current Project) has had to take a backseat to the magazine and my stupid day job the last couple weeks. I was sure that by this date, at latest, I would have finished a complete and total first draft with all elements fully in place, needing only--at worst--some minor revision.  As it happens, I still have two dozen scenes to write and LOT of revision to do to the stuff that's already written.  The good news is that I know how it goes from start to finish and some things about the story and its characters that had been mysterious to me for a few weeks recently resolved themselves.  I just need to sit still and finish writing it.  I've also gotten distracted by a couple of new short stories that I started (and mostly finished) during the last couple of weeks. I haven't worked on any new short fiction in a pretty long time, but I actually have some new pieces all of a sudden that could probably be presentable without too much more labor. While working on these, I tend to nag myself for taking my eye off the ball (the novel).  But I think it's good that I write what I am inclined to write when the inspiration hits and not worry about the ongoing projects at all times. The spurt of productivity that generated the first fifty thousand words of the novel in the space of a few weeks will happen again.

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